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November 20, 2023

Young Britons turning to AI chatbots for help with school and work – survey

  • Nominet’s latest annual Digital Youth Index, which examines young people’s online habits and attitudes, suggests that while 94% of young people feel safe online, 76% reported having been exposed to an upsetting experience.
  • According to the study, X (formerly Twitter), was identified as the platform where most young people (77%) had seen distressing content.
  • The study also highlighted that 53% of those asked said they had used an AI chatbot and were curious about how they could use them in their lives.
  • Nominet chief executive, Paul Fletcher reported: “When it comes to online safety, it looks like young Brits are growing in confidence, but the rise in exposure to upsetting content highlights that tackling online harm remains important to young people.”
  • He continued: “Our data shows us the reality that despite young people’s lives and their education system going online, a concerning 14% of two million of them still don’t have access to a laptop or desktop computer, and this has the potential to significantly disadvantage those that would benefit the most,”
  • For more, please visit the Yahoo News website.

‘I was addicted to social media – now I’m suing Big Tech’

  • Hundreds of families are suing some of the largest tech companies, who they say knowingly expose children to harmful products.
  • One young person describes the addiction on social media that led to suicide attempts and years of depression, and is now suing four tech companies: Meta, TikTok, Google and Snap Inc, alongside other families.
  • The plaintiffs include ordinary families and school districts from across the US.
  • Lawyers for families believe the case of 14-year-old Molly Russell from the UK, is an important example of the potential harms faced by teenagers.
  • The companies say the claims are not true and they intend to defend themselves robustly.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.

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Ofsted ‘seen as toxic’ and schools should ‘self-evaluate’ instead, says inquiry

  • The Beyond Ofsted Inquiry, chaired by former school’s minister Lord Jim Knight, and funded by the National Education Union, called for a “transformational” alteration to school inspections.
  • It comes following the suicide of headteacher Ruth Perry earlier this year, which highlighted the pressure that inspections can be put on schools and led to a debate on how Ofsted operates.
  • The report recommended that schools should be responsible for their own improvement plans.
  • Ofsted reported that inspections are required to ensure a high-quality education.
  • However, Lord Knight’s inquiry said Ofsted was now seen as “toxic” and “not fit for purpose” and was in need of major reform.
  • The Department for Education, reported that “Ofsted has a crucial role in providing a regular, independent evaluation of every school, providing reassurance to parents that pupils are receiving the high quality education they deserve and are being kept safe,” they added.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.

Our children are being failed by the condition of their school

  • Parents of a children’s special school in Scotland, have told of their despair at the state of the building.
  • The school provides education for 3-18-year-olds, with pupils receiving additional needs support for physical disabilities and neurological conditions.
  • Parents also reported that the school lacked teachers for some subjects and pupils had to go to a nearby carpark for PE as there was not a dedicated games hall.
  • Highland Council approved plans for a new £13m school in 2021, but last month was unsuccessful in securing Scottish government funding to process the project.
  • The Scottish government said it was local authorities’ statutory responsibility to manage and maintain their school estates.
  • The spokesperson for the Scottish government, said Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth had received the council’s letter asking for further engagement and would respond in due course.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.